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Acute phase and inflammatory proteins

Acute phase proteins (APP’s) are proteins whose serum concentrations either rise or fall in response to inflammation. This is sometimes referred to as the acute-phase response. This response is considered part of the innate immune system.

Most APP’s are synthesised by hepatocytes but some are produced by other cell types such as monocytes, endothelial cells, fibroblasts and adipocytes.

During non-inflammatory conditions, the liver produces steady state concentrations of a range of plasma proteins and in response to inflammation the levels can change and help mediate such system effects.

They can be categorised as follows

  • Positive ( Increasing serum concentration)
    • C-Reactive Protein, alpha-2-Macroglobulin, Serum Amyloid, Haptoglobin
  • Negative (decreasing serum concentration)
    • Serum Albumin, Transferrin, RBP4

Measurement of acute-phase proteins, especially C-reactive protein, is a useful marker of inflammation in both medical and veterinary clinical pathology.

CRP is probably the most studied APP and studies show that the concentrations of CRP can rise dramatically following inflammation such as heart attack, autoimmune disorders and bacterial infections such as sepsis.

Up to a 1000 fold increase can be seen in response to attack and the increase in CRP levels reflects the intensity of inflammation.

Are you developing an assay to detect an acute phase or inflammatory response?

BBI can help.

We offer a diverse range of markers that are ideal for numerous applications including life science research, immunodiagnostic platform assays, ELISA’s, lateral flow, and quality assurance control manufacture.

See the table below for details on our flagship products in the acute phase and inflammatory area.



C-reactive Protein. C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is an acute phase protein with a molecular mass of approximately 114kDa. It is synthesised in the liver and is most commonly used as a marker for inflammation. Elevated CRP levels are seen in patients with coronary artery disease; hence it is also used in cardiology diagnostic tests to predict and monitor this disease.
Alpha 1 anti chymotrypsin Human α1-Anti Chymotrypsin is a chronic acute phase marker and serine protease inhibitor of 68 kDa and pI between 3.75 and 4.0. ACT can complex with PSA to form the PSA-ACT complex, which is used as an indicator of tumor mass and clinical stage analysis of prostate cancer.
Haptoglobin Human haptoglobin is a glycoprotein synthesized in the liver and circulating in the blood. Haptoglobins are found as three common phenotypes; Hp 1-1, Hp 2-1, Hp 2-2, with molecular weights ranging from 80 kDa – 200 kDa. Reduced levels are seen in haemolysis and impaired liver function. Elevated serum haptoglobin levels are a marker for acute or chronic inflammation.
alpha-2-Macroglobulin Alpha-2 macroglobulin (A2M) is a tetrameric glycoprotein with a molecular weight of 725 kDa. It is synthesized in the liver and has the role of a serine proteases inhibitor. It inhibits coagulation by inactivating thrombin and kallikrein; it inhibits fibrinolysis by inactivating plasmin and it is also involved in insulin transport. A2M is the principal defensin binding protein. Raised levels of A2M are found in cirrhosis, pregnancy and diabetes.

Find out more about our range of acute phase proteins, visit the BBI store >>

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